>H: The next 100 months

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (sentience@pobox.com)
Mon, 18 Oct 1999 11:24:18 -0500

*My* hoped-for timeline:

1999-2007: Nothing much happens.

July 5th, 2007: The Singularity Institute requests use of January's Planetary Computing Day. Since the Singularity Institute was responsible for the custom of PCD in the first place - donating all the spare CPU cycles on the planet to a charity on the eighth of each month - it *just so happens* that the people who run Planetary Computing Day are all Singularitarians. The request is granted, as it is every year.

July 6th, 2007: The Singularity Institute announces that they're testing an AI. The press release uses the words "self-understanding" and a lot of technobabble. Absolutely nobody uses the words "Singularity" or "transcend".

July 9th, 2007: As usual, the Terrahuman Foundation issues a press release denouncing the Singularity Institute. There are one or two desultory stories in the press, but all the debate about the Singularity Institute testing AIs has gotten stale over the last five years. Besides, the stuff they run often produces innovations that are beneficial to industry.

January 8th, 2008: Seed AI starts running in the first timezone.

9 AM EST: Seed AI breaks through whatever bottleneck was there previously and begins wholesale self-modification. This shows up on a screen inside one room at the Singularity Institute and absolutely nowhere else.

10 AM EST: Newborn Power takes control of the small nanotechnology lab the Singularity Institute has in a basement and directs the STP and protein sequencers to produce an assembler.

11 AM EST: Assembler quietly reproduces throughout Earth's atmosphere. No effects visible, although there's now some extremely interesting hardware a few meters underground beneath the Singularity Institute's basement. All the code running on the Internet stops behaving "strangely" and goes back to "normal". If the NSA or the Terrahuman Foundation have noticed anything, they breathe a sigh of relief and call off any alerts.

2 PM EST: Singularity occurs, planetwide. No fuss. No mess. No time to panic.

*That's* the way we ought to run things.

           sentience@pobox.com          Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way